Air Fryer Drumsticks

air fryer drumsticks coated in a soy, coca cola sauce topped with sesame seeds

While chicken thighs have gotten a ton of, deserved, love recently, we believe that the humble drumstick should also get its time in the spotlight. It is rare when a food is naturally handheld, but when it happen you know that’s going to make it one of our favorites.

This dish is loosely inspired by two Chinese dishes: fragrant and umami-filled Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken and a dish that was popular in 80’s and 90’s in China, Coca Cola Wings. Instead of poaching the chicken like is traditional in Soy Sauce Chicken, we will be getting the soy-marinated chicken slightly crispy and perfectly tender in the air fryer. Then we will use the reserved marinade, along with some Coke, to make a sticky, sweetish sauce.

Try serving these with some perfectly cooked white rice or a garlicky green to make a full hearty meal that will become a new weeknight staple. Gave it a try? Let us know how it came out in the comments below!

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 45 mins
2 lb.

chicken drumsticks (about 8)

6 tbsp.

soy sauce


cloves garlic, grated

1 1/2 tsp.

fresh ginger, grated

1/2 tsp.

Chinese Five spice or ground cinnamon


2/3 c.


Sliced scallions, for garnish

Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

  1. In a large bowl combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger, five spice and honey. Add the drumsticks and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge.
  2. Let chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, turning the chicken halfway through.
  3. Preheat airfryer to 380º. Working in batches if necessary, add drumsticks to the air fryer, making sure to avoid overcrowding in the basket and to reserve the remaining marinade. Air fry for 10 minutes.
  4. While the chicken cooks, transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and add Coca-cola and place over high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and reduce until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer sauce to a large heat proof bowl.
  5. Brush the drumsticks all over with the reduced sauce, flip them and continue to air fry until an internal thermometer reads 165º, an additional 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer cooked drumsticks to the sauce and toss to coat. Top with scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds and serve. (pic on next page)
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